Simon: Five observations on some of the luckiest — and unluckiest — hitters in baseball

From SABR member Mark Simon at The Athletic on September 19, 2019:

Evaluating luck for a hitter is a tricky thing.

A fast hitter might produce a higher-than-expected batting average on groundballs because he’s speedy enough to beat them out for infield hits. That’s earned skill, not good luck. Another batter may have a lower batting average than expected because he repeatedly hits the ball into defensive shifts. That’s not bad luck. It’s smart defense.

In trying to find lucky and unlucky hitters, we had to choose carefully. We put a couple of our statistical tools to use.

Sports Info Solutions has an expected stats family based on inputs that include where the ball was hit, how hard it was hit and what type of batted ball it was. That allows us to produce an expected stat line for a player and compare it to his actual line. A player whose expected line differed significantly from his actual line was worth a closer examination.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 20, 2019. Last Updated: September 20, 2019.